Progressive Wage Model (PWM)

Singapore’s framework of minimum wage and training requirements, segmented by industry sector & occupation

The Progressive Wage Model (“PWM”) is a framework developed by Singapore’s tripartite of unions, employers and the government to uplift lower-wage workers’ wages

PWM maps clear pathways for workers’ wages rise along with training and improvements in productivity & standards.

The core pillars of PWM are:

(i) Clear pathways for workers to progress in their careers

(ii) Minimum wage requirements for different levels of the career pathways

(iii) Training to improve workers’ skills & productivity – so they have the capability to contribute more to employers’ bottomline, justifying the wage increases.

PWM covers Singapore Citizens & Permanent Residents (“PRs”) in specified industry sectors and occupations (while being encouraged for foreign employees).

To hire foreign workers, Singapore firms MUST comply with:

– Their respective industry’s PWM requirements for their local employees covered by respective PWMs, and 

Local Qualifying Salary (“LQS”) requirements for all other local employees.

PW Mark

From 1 March 2023, firms who hire at least 1 Singaporean or PR worker covered by the PWM / OPW are eligible for a PW Mark. This enables consumers and corporate buyers to easily identify and support PW-Mark accredited firms.

Important: PW Mark accreditation is a new procurement requirement for Government tenders called from 1 March 2023

Broad summary of PWMs

We compiled* the main requirements of each PWM currently in force from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower’s website. These are listed here in alphabetical order.

Cleaning sector PWM

Start date1 September 2014
(extended to in-house cleaners: 1 Sep 2022)

PWM comes under Cleaning Business License scheme administered by National Environment Agency (“NEA”). Cleaning companies MUST meet PWM to obtain / renew licenses.

Wage Requirements: PWM requirements are mandatory, and cover all Singapore citizens & PRs in outsourced cleaning jobs, or in-house cleaning jobs in firms hiring foreign workers.

Monthly basic wage requirements are based on 3 different groups as follows, with a PWM bonus of at least 2 weeks of basic monthly wages for eligible outsourced & in-house cleaners in a given year.

Group 1 Cleaners: Office & commercial sites e.g. offices, schools, hospitals, medical clinics, condominiums.

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Group 2 Cleaners: Food & Beverage (F&B) establishments e.g. hawker centres, food courts, restaurants.

Group 3 Cleaners: Conservancy e.g. town councils, public cleansing.

Training Requirements

In-house cleaners: Employers must ensure your cleaners meet in-house PWM training requirement of any 1 Workforce Skills Qualification (“WSQ”) course, OR 1 in-house training programme.

Outsourced cleaners: Cleaning companies must ensure your cleaners meet the PWM’s training requirements by taking WSQ modules from the approved list of modules.

Link: Annex A of Addendum to TCC Report

Start date: 1 March 2023

Wage Requirements: PWM requirements cover Singapore citizens and PRs who are:

Full-time or Part-time food service employees on a contract of service, working in a premise that has a Singapore Food Agency Food Retail or Food Processing (Central Kitchen) license, and employed by firms which hire foreign workers on mainstream work passes (i.e. Work Permit, S Pass, EP), regardless of whether the firm is classified under the Food and Beverage (“F&B”) Service Activities Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (“SSIC”) or not.

PWM covers food service job roles in 2 categories of establishments –

Category A Businesses: Food establishments without wait staff – includes Quick Service (“QS”) F&B establishments e.g. fast-food outlets, food courts etc.

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Category B Businesses: Full Service (“FS”) Food establishments with wait staff, as well as Caterers and Central Kitchens.

Career track 1: “Back-of-house” roles

Career track 2: “Front-of-house” roles

Training Requirements

Employers must ensure PWM workers attain AT LEAST 2 WSQ Statement of Attainment (“SOA”) from list of approved WSQ training modules.

Alternatively, employers with in-house WSQ training modules with prefix “FSS” in the accompanying Technical Skills & Competencies (“TSC”) code may use these training modules to meet the training requirement.

Time-frame: Within 6 months of new hire’s employment start-date, or by 29 Feb 2024 for existing workers.

Landscape sector PWM

Start date: 30 June 2016
(extended to in-house landscape maintenance employees: 1 Sep 2022)

PWM is a registration condition for NParks’ Landscape Company Register (“LCR”).

Wage Requirements: PWM requirements are mandatory, and cover all Singaporeans & PRs in outsourced landscape maintenance jobs by landscape companies on LCR, or in-house landscape maintenance employees in firms hiring foreign workers.

A PWM bonus of at least 2 weeks of basic monthly wages will be payable for eligible outsourced & in-house landscape maintenance employees in a given year.

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Training Requirements

In-house: Employers must ensure landscape maintenance workers meet in-house PWM training requirement of any 1 WSQ course, OR 1 in-house training programme.

Outsourced: Landscape companies must ensure PWM landscape maintenance employees meet the training requirements recommended by the Tripartite Cluster for Landscape Industry.

Also note training requirements for career progression & promotion
(i) New applicant for Landscape Worker: 3 modules from WSQ Cert in Landscape Operations
(ii) For promotion to Landscape Technician: (i) + 4 modules in WSQ Advanced Cert in Landscape Operations
(iii) For Assistant Landscape Supervisor: (ii) + 1 module in WSQ Advanced Cert in Landscape Supervision
(iv) For Landscape Supervisor: (iii) + 4 modules in WSQ Advanced Cert in Landscape Supervision

Link: SkillsFuture WSQ Framework for Landscape

Lift & Escalator sector PWM

Start date: 1 May 2019

Since 1 May 2019, the Government procures lift maintenance services only from firms that adopt the Lift PWM. The Government is working towards mandating PWM adoption as a registration requirement for lift & escalator maintenance firms.

Wage Requirements: PWM requirements cover all Singaporeans & PRs employed in lift & escalator maintenance jobs by lift and escalator companies.

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Training Requirements

The Building & Construction Authority (“BCA”) is working to mandate lift & escalator maintenance workers to obtain qualifications as the Commissioner of Building Control may require, before being allowed to maintain lifts independently.

BCA and the Institute of Technical Education (“ITE”) have been working closely to develop and roll out the various certification courses in alignment with the TSC framework to support the lift & escalator PWM.

Start date: 1 September 2022

Employers must meet PWM requirements to renew existing work passes or apply for new work passes.

Wage Requirements: PWM covers Singaporeans & PRs who are full-time / part-time employees in retail job roles on a contract of service, and are employed by firms who hire foreign workers (regardless whether firm is classified under Retail Trade SSIC or not).

Given retail sector’s seasonal fluctuations in sales through out the year, PWM wage requirements are averaged over a 3-month period. For each retail employee under PWM, Employers must fulfil either:

– Gross wage paid for month > month’s PWM wage requirements, OR
– Past 3 months’ average gross wage > average of past 3 months’ wage PWM wage requirements.

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Training Requirements

Employers must ensure PWM workers attain AT LEAST 1 WSQ Statement of Attainment from list of approved WSQ training modules.

Alternatively, employers with in-house WSQ training modules with prefix “RET” in the accompanying TSC code may use these training modules to meet the training requirement.

Time-frame: Within 6 months of new hire’s employment start-date, or by 31Aug 2023 for existing workers.

Security sector PWM

Start date: 1 September 2016
(extended to in-house security officers: 1 Sep 2022)

PWM is a licensing condition for security agencies under the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department (“PLRD”).

Wage Requirements: PWM requirements are mandatory, and cover all Singapore citizens & PRs employed as security officers in licensed security agencies, or in-house employers hiring foreign workers.

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Training Requirements

Security agencies & in-house employers must ensure Singaporean & PR security officers meet PWM training requirements.

Minimum Time-in-Grade + Training requirements for career progression & promotion
(i) New applicant for Security officer: 2 Basic Licensing Units + “Recognise Terrorist Threats”
(ii) For promotion to Senior security officer: > 6 months as security officer + 2 certificate modules
(iii) For Security supervisor: > 1 year as senior security officer + 1 Advanced Licensing Unit + 2 advanced modules
(iv) For Senior security supervisor: > 1 year 6 months as security supervisor + 4 advanced modules (Full advanced certificate)
(v) For Chief security officer: > 2 years as senior security supervisor + 3 diploma modules

Link: SkillsFuture WSQ Framework for Security

 

Start date: 1 July 2023

All public waste collectors, general waste collectors and general waste disposal facility licensees must meet the PWM requirements as part of NEA‘s licensing framework.

Wage Requirements: PWM requirements are mandatory and cover all Singapore citizens & PRs employed as waste management workers in the waste collection and materials recovery sub-sectors, who work in licensed general waste collectors, public waste collectors, or general waste disposal facilities.

With effect from Jan 2024, a PWM bonus of at least 1 month of basic monthly wages will be payable to eligible waste management workers in the waste collection and materials recovery sub-sectors in licensed general waste collectors, public waste collectors, or general waste disposal facilities every year.

The Tripartite Cluster for Waste Management (“TCWM”) will review the wage schedule in 2025.

PWM covers waste management job roles in 2 sub-sectors –

Waste Collection Sub-Sector

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Materials Recovery Subsector

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Training Requirements

Employers must ensure PWM workers in Crew and Sorter roles attain AT LEAST 1 WSQ Statement of Attainment (“SOA”) from list of approved WSQ training modules.

For higher job levels, additional WSQ SOAs from the approved WSQ training modules list are required, depending on the job level.

Link: Annex C of the TCWM Report

Administrator OPW

Start date: 1 March 2023

Employers must meet Occupational Progressive Wage (“OPW”) requirements to renew existing work passes or apply for new work passes.

Wage Requirements: OPW requirements cover all Singapore citizens & PRs who are full-time or part-time employees in administrative roles on a contract of service, and employed by firms which hire foreign workers.

Wage requirements for part-time workers are pro-rated on a 44-hour basis.

OPW wage requirements for March 2024 and later will be reviewed by the National Wages Council some time in 2023.

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Training Requirements

Employers must ensure Singaporean & PR Administrator employees meet OPW training requirements of attaining:

– At least 1 WSQ Statement of Attainment (no restriction on which WSQ course), OR
– An in-house training programme

In-house training programme must be guided by training objectives, training modality, key training tasks & training duration to meet training requirements. When required, employers are expected to show supporting documentation on in-house training programme & records of workers who attended the trainings.

Time-frame: Within 6 months of new hire’s employment start date, or by 29 Feb 2024 for existing workers.

 

Driver OPW

Start date: 1 March 2023

Employers must meet OPW requirements to renew existing work passes or apply for new work passes.

Wage Requirements: OPW requirements cover all Singapore citizens & PRs who are full-time or part-time employees in administrative roles on a contract of service, and employed by firms which hire foreign workers.

Wage requirements for part-time workers are pro-rated on a 44-hour basis.

OPW wage requirements for March 2024 & later will be reviewed by the National Wages Council some time in 2023.

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Training Requirements

Employers must ensure Singaporean & PR Driver employees meet OPW training requirements of attaining:

– At least 1 WSQ SOA (no restriction on which WSQ course), OR
– An in-house training programme

In-house training programme must be guided by training objectives, training modality, key training tasks & training duration to meet training requirements. When required, employers are expected to show supporting documentation on in-house training programme & records of workers who attended the trainings.

Time-frame: Within 6 months of new hire’s employment start date, or by 29 Feb 2024 for existing workers.

 

Support for Employers

The Singapore Government is providing assistance for employers:

1. Progressive Wage Credit Scheme: From 2022 to 2026, the Government will co-fund eligible wage increases given to lower-wage workers. To reduce administrative burden for employers, any co-funding payouts are automatically disbursed.

2. Workfare Skills Support Scheme: Employers’ training costs for workers above 35 years old and earning less than SGD $2,300 per month are significantly offset.

Training your Workforce

Training is a mandatory requirement under the PWM

WSQ Courses

Depending on your sector, you can get your workers trained at various Approved Training Organisations (“ATOs”)

e.g. Retail companies may wish to consider TaFtc for your training needs.

In-House Training

For OPWs and some sector PWMs, an in-house training programe (including On-the Job Training (“OJT”)) can count towards meeting the PWM training requirements. To meet the training objectives, the in-house training programme will have to be guided by Training Objectives, Training Modaility, Key Training Tasks & Training Duration.

MOM expects employers to show supporting documentation on their in-house training programme & records of workers who attended the trainings – where required.

ArcLab’s platform is simple & effective for your organisation to put in place an in-house training programme.

1. An entire training programme can be developed online & is suitable for the office setting – training consumed via desktops / laptops, as well as for workers who do not work in an office environment – deskless workers can consume training via their mobile phones.

2. ArcLab’s Learner Analytics Dashboard keeps detailed records of every single workers’ training, including time spent on individual modules and as a whole, scores for Knowledge Assessment quizzes etc. These can be easily exported and presented as required for inspection.

Here’s an example of a Training Module for Motorcycle Drivers.

ArcLab Discover, our free library has several training templates for you to consider as you put your In-House Training Programme together:

1. Safe Riding Training – suitable for General Driver roles (motorcycle delivery drivers) in Logistics firms etc.

2. Safe Manual Handling Training – for General Driver & Specialist Driver roles in Construction, Logistics firms etc.

3. Customer Service Training (Serving Difficult Customers) – suitable for Administrative Executive roles (e.g. receptionist, customer service clerk, telephone operator etc.) working in any industry.

If you found this way of learning engaging & effective, start building a training programme for your workforce now

* Current as at 1 July 2023. While care has been taken to ensure accuracy, please always verify with up-to-date information from Ministry of Manpower’s official PWM website.